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Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.



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Max Sinclair

Max SinclairFor his 50 year campaign to restore the Droitwich canals.
Canals in the plural because there is the Barge Canal, opened in 1771, and the Junction Canal opened in 1854. They were built to facilitate the salt trade on which the wealth of Droitwich was founded. The canals were abandoned in 1939 and by the 1970s the Barge Canal was overgrown, silted up, in places dry and missing most of its operational parts.

In the late 1960s Max started to fight for restoration of the canals, writing letters and generally bothering people, and a first significant step was forming Droitwich Canals Trust in 1973. The Trust's thousands of volunteers raised funds and provided the labour for the restoration of channel, towpath and the first three locks on the Junction Canal, which completed in 2000.

In 2001 the Droitwich Canals Restoration Partnership was formed to bring about the final phase. Led by British Waterways, the Partnership secured £12.7 million funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Advantage West Midlands and 100 smaller funders and private donations for the restoration of nine broad locks, the construction of a new bridge under a dual carriageway and 1km of new canal and four new locks, the dredging of 5 miles of canal, the creation of a 5.5 hectare reed bed, installation of interpretation features and the involvement of volunteers totalling 3300 days and 300,000 tons of mud.

The Droitwich Canals were opened in summer 2011 after 38 years of restoration. The canals form part of a navigable 27-mile ring passing through Worcester and Droitwich. Over 3000 boats have used the canal and there has been a 30% increase in towpath users and 50% in visitors to the local tourist information centre. None of this would have been possible without Max's drive and vision.

Another major area of Max's achievement in transport preservation is as a saviour and liberator of superannuated narrow gauge steam locomotives. The count includes (at least) 4 Kerr-Stuarts, 2 Barclays, 2 Hunslets and a Peckett which he purchased not because he wanted to keep them himself but because they must not be scrapped, and he would in due course find a good home for them. The Leighton Buzzard Light Railway is an example of such a home. There were a further 5 locomotives for which he brokered a deal which removed them from danger and into a good future.


Roger Mallinson

FoRoger Mallinson Shamrockr a lifetime of service to the preservation of steamboats, particularly the Windermere fleet.On leaving Windermere Grammar School, Roger was apprenticed to Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness. For part of this apprenticeship he needed to commute to Croydon in Surrey, so he purchased an Austin 7 in which he travelled from Windermere to Croydon every Sunday evening and back again each Friday. This car is still in everyday use as Roger's main mode of transport!Later, Roger joined Vickers Oceanics, piloting miniature deep-sea submarines. In one of these, Pisces III in 1973 he was stranded on the sea bed with limited air supplies; the rescue took 3 days.

In 1976 Roger rescued the Windermere steam launch Shamrock from literally being burnt as scrap. He built an engine (mostly afloat in the ship's workshop), sourced a "scrap" boiler from the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, modified it for marine use, and by 1979 had renovated Shamrock to steam. Following this Roger went into full time steam engineering, making his own steam engines which have been fitted into many small boats, as well as restoring and maintaining many others including the National Trust's Gondola (Lake Coniston), Alaska and Pierrette (River Thames) as well as notably rescuing Fred Dibnah on his last epic tour round the UK. In addition to supplying boilers and engines he is perhaps best known for giving enthusiastic advice and help to all who have an interest.

In 2009, Shamrock was badly damaged in record floods on Windermere. Although he makes much of the support he got, the reality is that most of the subsequent renovation work was single-handedly completed by Roger, as it was when she was first rescued in 1976. Shamrock has now been 

Shamrock photo ian Cross

given by Roger to the Shamrock Trust which will maintain her as an operational Steam launch on Windermere. She is currently the only operational Windermere steam launch and while the Windermere Steamboat Museum rebuilds has provided boating support for fund-raising work over the last five years.

Roger has done a lot of voluntary engineering work at the Museum and given many talks. His infectious enthusiasm for steam and engineering has meant that people who have had little understanding of (or perhaps prior interest in) steam engines have come away from his talks with a wealth of knowledge and, more importantly, an appreciation of the skill and beauty of the work that goes into them. Both Shamrock and his Austin 7 are an eloquent testimony to Roger and his desire to preserve the past today.


Peter Skellon

2013 YLifetime Achievement Awards Peter SkeltonMarking 45 years service to the Bahamas Locomotive Society (longer then the locomotive itself ran in mainline traffic!)

Peter Skellon learned about steam locomotives as a teenager when LMS 'Jubilee' 45596 Bahamas was bought by the Society for preservation. He qualified successively as fireman and driver and was elected to the committee of the Society. Peter was active in introducing Mutual Improvement Classes for the benefit of working members. Following the society’s move from the Dinting Railway Centre to Ingrow on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway he organised the Ingrow Railway Museum, became its curator and was instrumental in achieving ‘Accredited Museum’ status.

For many years he has been the editor of the society’s Journal and the archivist of its historical and technical documents and artefacts. His first book 'Steam Locomotive Lubrication, its Development and Practice' was published in 1997, while his second, 'Bashers, Gadgets and Mourners, The Life and Times of the LNWR Coal Tanks', was awarded a joint Railway Book of the Year from the Railways and Canals Historical Society in 2012. Publication of the latter book coincided with the return to steam of Coal Tank 1054 after a ten year restoration which owed a lot to his research.

2013 YLifetime Achievement Awards Peter Skellon2Peter is also a gifted singer/songwriter and has written several songs and poems which have railways and railwaymen as their subject. He has spent much time travelling the country to interview ex-railwaymen to record for posterity their reminiscences. In May 2013 he was performing during the celebrations of the Ingrow Museum's 10th anniversary.

Despite a car crash two years ago which left him severely injured, he gives presentations on the LNWR Coal Tanks to other Societies, he supports steam festivals and galas and remains a life long enthusiast not only of the Bahamas Locomotive Society but of railway heritage and preservation generally. Peter was recently elected President of the London and North Western Railway Society. A very wide-ranging as well as long-lasting contribution.




The National Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.


The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.


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